I like to think that people should be informed about matters that involve them entering into a contract, especially where they are going to be paying thousands of dollars. One of my biggest pet peeves is when parents get stuck in a contract they cannot get out of, and they never really agreed to in the first place.
The legal community does a very poor job of informing parents about what it means to work with a Parenting Consultant. Usually, parents are strong armed into agreeing to have a PC appointed, and out comes the court order. It happens quickly, and you really don’t know what a PC does, or how much they cost, until after a court order is issued that appoints one. By the time you realize how the process works, you are stuck.
The following is a list of issues that a Parenting Consultant can decide about your children. It is a list that I received when I went through training to be a Parenting Consultant. If you were given this list at the time you were contemplating whether or not to appoint a PC, I truly believe that no sane person would ever agree to have a Parenting Consultant appointed. Even when you are told that a PC will settle disputes about legal custody issues, you never imagine all the things they delve into about your family life.
I have used both Parenting Coordinator and Parenting Consultant to describe the role of these court authorities, but they mean the same thing. Most places call them Parent Coordinators, but my home state of Minnesota calls them Parenting Consultants.
The following is the list of issues that a Parenting Consultant can decide, however, this is not all inclusive. They can decide anything other than Custody, or Child Support. Would you be willing to turn over decisions like this to Family Court?